In an earlier post, I referenced four basic world views from Joanna Macy’s World as Lover, World as Self. They were The World as Battlefield, The World as Trap, The World as Lover and The World as Self. Each of us perceives the world through the prism of our own conditioning. Depending on where we find ourselves in our lives, we may move back and forth through any and all of these world views. What if we could let go of our conditioning — if only for a moment — and see the world just as it is. Is it possible to take off the glasses of our conditioning and see the true reality unburdened by the emotional baggage we carry with us throughout our lives?
This question emerges from within all of the earth’s great spiritual traditions. Of course we might also ponder that great philosopher Peggy Lee, when she asked, “Is that all there is?” We are constantly searching for meaning and fulfillment in our lives, whether we acknowledge it or not. In the Zen tradition, teachers pose many questions to their students.
If you are wrestling with Peggy’s question or any other, for that matter, you may want to attend a lecture by my teacher, Janet Jiryu Abels, on “What is Zen?” To be sure, the word “zen” is attached to everything from golf to interior design to yoga. For all I know there may well be a Nose-Picker’s Guide to Zen Enlightenment. This event focuses on the real deal. A true teacher, Janet will manifest the nature of Zen practice in her lecture and provide an orientation to zazen, the core discipline of that practice. “What is Zen?” will be offered at 7:00 pm Thursday, March 25th at the Chatham Village Clubhouse on Mt. Washington. To register or for more information, please contact me here or visit www.plumblossomzendo.org.